It is important to have supportive people in your life but a healthy support system is crucial in a time of grief. A support system is made up of the people you trust, who help you and comfort you. These are the people who take care of you or provide emotional support, wisdom, and strength when you need it. Surround yourself with a circle of encouraging, caring, and compassionate people. There are times during grief when you can become overwhelmed, confused or exhausted. In these times, it can help to have someone to talk to and share your thoughts with. Sometimes you may need to ask for help; other times, you may just want to feed off the positive energy of another.
Recognize Your Support System
Take some time to identify your own support system. Who are the supportive people in your life? Who can you turn to in a crisis? Recognize the people who are willing and able to help you during painful times. Some examples of a support system might include parents, grandparents, siblings, older children and other family members and relatives. This structure may also include friends, coworkers, teachers, coaches, counselors, pastors, doctors, team members, club members, classmates, and even God. After my dad died, my mother would tell me how her friends made the mornings without him just a little easier. She jokingly called her “friends” by name: Matt, Meredith, Al, Hoda and Kathie Lee. Yes, her “friends” were the cast of a popular TV morning show and no; my mother was not delusional! The point is that she filled a void with the energy of positive people that had become a support for her, even if they didn’t know it. Make a list of your own support system consisting of the people close to you (or not so close) that you can depend on to help you ease your burden and grief.
Utilize Your Support System
Are you calling on the people that you identified when you feel weak or need something? Maybe you need someone to cry to, maybe you need someone to laugh with. Maybe you need your lawn mowed, the dog walked, or help making a grocery list. Think about how someone could help you. Chances are there are many people in your support system that would like to be of help, they just don’t know how. Be honest and don’t be afraid to ask when you need something. During your grief, even the smallest gesture from a loved one can be a comfort or a chore completed by a friend can be a relief. These people care about you and should be called upon when you need someone. You can also call on God, He is always ready to listen and help you in your time of pain.